Perpetual motion technology has been fascinating people for a long time. Today, it’s widely accepted as little more than pseudoscience, but that certainly hasn’t stopped people from creating bigger, better, and more outlandish gadgets and gizmos in the hopes of breaking the laws of physics and revolutionizing the world. Here are nine interesting perpetual motion machine in the history.
#1. An engraving of Robert Fludd’s 1618 “water screw” perpetual motion machine
This device is widely credited as the first recorded attempt to describe such a device in order to produce useful work, that of driving millstones. Although the machine would not work, the idea was that water from the top tank turns a water wheel (bottom-left), which drives a complicated series of gears and shafts that ultimately rotate the Archimedes’ screw (bottom-center to top-right) to pump water to refill the tank. The rotary motion of the water wheel also drives two grinding wheels (bottom-right) and is shown as providing sufficient excess water to lubricate them.